Bequest Behavior and the Effect of Heirs' Earnings: Testing the Altruistic Model of Bequests
Mark Wilhelm ()
American Economic Review, 1996, vol. 86, issue 4, 874-92
That parents transfer resources to children because of altruistic concern is a reasonable a priori assumption. However, economic theories of altruistic transfers have produced many counterintuitive conclusions and, consequently, much debate. When applied to bequests, these theories predict that inheritances will compensate for earnings differences between siblings as well as between parents and children. This paper tests these implications. Using a new data set centered on federal estate tax returns, little support can be found for an altruistic theory of bequests. This finding has implications for macroeconomic policy, government transfer programs, and inequality. Copyright 1996 by American Economic Association.
References: Add references at CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (116) Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0002-8282%2819960 ... O%3B2-2&origin=repec full text (application/pdf)
Access to full text is restricted to JSTOR subscribers. See http://www.jstor.org for details.
Working Paper: BEQUEST BEHAVIOR AND THE EFFECT OF HEIRS' EARNINGS: TESTING THE ALTRUISTIC MODEL OF BEQUESTS (1990)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:86:y:1996:i:4:p:874-92
Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from
Access Statistics for this article
American Economic Review is currently edited by Esther Duflo
More articles in American Economic Review from American Economic Association Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Michael P. Albert ().